The German government announced Monday it will invest €300 million ($337 million) in biopharmaceutical firm CureVac to develop a vaccine and therapeutic medicine for the coronavirus. 

The government, through Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, will hold a stake of around 23% in CureVac, a Tubingen-based pioneer in the preclinical and clinical development of mRNA-based drugs, thanks to the new direct equity financing.

Funds from the capital increase will be used by CureVac to further develop the company’s proprietary pipeline and mRNA platform technology and the expansion of business activities, according to a joint statement.

Peter Altmaier, German minister for economic affairs and energy, stressed that the move is a central step towards implementing the government’s Corona Economic Stimulus and Future Technologies Package passed earlier this month.

“CureVac’s technology has the potential to develop disruptive new vaccines and therapeutic modalities that are accessible for many people and available via the market,” Altmaier said.

The government said it expected this will accelerate the development programs and provide the means for CureVac to harness the full potential of its technology.

“With this package, we aim to secure more independence in the entire production process of medical substances and vaccines,” said Altmaier.

“This investment is a first step in this direction.”

Franz-Werner Haas, acting CEO of CureVac, said the financing will help the company’s cash reach and stability for accelerated development of its mRNA platform and the development and production of current and additional mRNA vaccine and drug candidates.

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